13 Replies to “F1 Author Chris Hilton Dies”

  1. Thank you for posting your kind words about my dad on your website. It means a lot that others appreciated his efforts too. He will be greatly missed.

    1. Dear Julia,

      I knew your father pretty well through motor racing. I use to work for the Toleman F1 team looking after the media relations and met him in 1981 when he started reporting on F1 for the Daily Express. I helped him with his research on a number of books – James Hunt and Ayrton Senna being just two – and in recent times when he wrote the definitive story on Toleman Motorsport which was published this time last year. I last saw him in April of this year when a small group of ex-Toleman F1 personnel went to see Brian Hart who was recovering from a stroke. Chris had been brilliant in helping Brian through this ordeal, such a great gesture and he kept us all in touch with Brian’s convalescence via regular email updates. To think he is no longer with us is a great shock but I will always have happy memories of knowing him and those memories will never fade. Please let me know, in due course, where he will be laid to rest as I would like to pay my respects. I live in Somerset and my phone number is 01225 840412.

      With a heavy heart.

      Yours, Chris Witty

    2. Julia,
      I wish I could have met your father in person. In 1991, he called me at the Army Recruiting Station in Meadville, Pennsylvania to discuss my participation of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. We talked for a bit and he was very interested in my stories. I did not think much of it until a few years later I saw a book “The Peoples Story” Fall of the Berlin Wall. I looked at the author…picked up the book and went straight to the index. MY NAME!!! Granted it was with one “F” in Rafferty but he placed me in his book. I was thrilled. I give the books to friends now anytime I can find one. Especially the ones that ask me about my time in Berlin. I am sorry about your fathers passing and wish you only the best.

  2. I have lived in the same town as Chris Hilton for years without realising it, until I mentioned to my postman (a great motorsport fan) how much I enjoyed the work of Chris, and he effected an introduction, I am proud to have had the opportunity to meet and get to know Chris even if for just a short year.

    He willingly signed my collection of his work, telling me that they would lose value as the unsigned ones were rare, and he used an uncut quote from me in his excellent book about Ross Brawn.

    Indeed just a couple of weeks ago he stopped by my house to tell me that his new book about Grand Prix Battlegrounds had just been published and that I should get someone to buy it for my Chrismas present, something I did immediately, if Chris was pleased with a book of his, then it was bound to be a cracker.

    My condolances to his wife and daughter, to think I will not have the opportunity to share some stories and to ask questions of him again is deeply shocking. A truly great man.

  3. Trevor

    If you ever need any of his books signed then let me know…I perfected his signature many years ago when I forgot to get my homework book signed!!

    Thank you for your kind words. He always loved to meet people who were as passionate about his subjects as he was. You probably noticed when a “pop round” turned into a 3 hour discussion…whith him talking for 2 hours 58 mins of it!!

    I hope you enjoy the book. If you do I would love it if you could raise a glass to him as he would see that fitting. I have to admire his ingenuity in trying to sell books!

    Take care and for him to go and see you he must have enjoyed your company.


    1. Julia

      I am sorry that it has taken me so long to reply, I have just returned from a buisness trip to the USA and things are a bit hectic.

      Your words have in fact touched me, and I am deeply honoured that he did indeed spend 2 hours 58 minutes at my house talking most of the time. But it was always a pleasure to listen.

      Indeed I wil raise a glass to him, and remember those happy moments in the recent past when we talked about his Le Mans ’55 book and his research into this subject.

      The world and particularly Motorsport is a poorer place without your Father.

      Kindest regards


  4. I was saddened to hear about the death of Chris Hilton. He and I went to prep school together and later worked on the sports desk of The Journal in the Sixtees where Chris was the cricket correspondent. Our paths went different ways when we went to work on the Nationals and though we spoke on the phone we never met face to face again. However I still regarded him as a dear friend, a decent man, who was full of humour, and who had a gift for writing, as evidenced by the sixty or so books that he wrote.

  5. Dear Julia,
    Like Chris, I knew your father for many years and also met up with him earlier this year when he was giving us all regular updates on Brian Hart’s condition. I guess that was typical of your Dad – he was only interested in Brian being looked after.
    I had helped him with one of his last books – the Toleman Story by digging deep in boxes in my attic for various bits of memorabilia. It was a wonderful book and I was very proud that he gave me a copy.
    I hope that I may be able to pay my respects along with all those many friends that he had. He will be sadly missed.
    Pat Symonds

  6. Sorry to hear about Christopher, I understand he was in berlin researching his next book. I was lucky enough to have some of my pictures selected for “Grand Prix Battle Grouds” and happened to be in London where we had lunch twice. It is great to read the notes from other on how he touched their lives.

    David in US

  7. Many thanks again for your kind words.

    Thank you again Glenn for enabling me to hear from friends and colleagues of my dad who I may never have been able to contact.

    If anybody wishes to attend the celebration of his life please feel free to email me via Julia_Hilton@yahoo.co.uk and will pass them on once finalised. I hope you appreciate it is sadly not possible to call you everyone personally.

    Thanks again and kindest regards


  8. Julia,

    Sorry to hear about your Dad’s passing, I had some correspondence with him recently regarding Grand Prix Battlegrounds, I was thrilled that he included some of my photos and blurb about Montjuich Parc and was pleasantly surprised when a signed complementary copy arrived in the post. He was a true gent and went far beyond what I expected.
    I was saddened to hear that he’s gone, he will be missed.



  9. Julia,

    We’ve exchanged a couple e-mails yesterday, but I wanted to express my support here as well. Echoing Ted’s message, I am also proud to have a few of my photographs in “Battlegrounds” – awaiting its delivery off Amazon any day now. It’s great to see others coming out and showing support – Formula 1 is a tough business and a genuine soul is hard to come by. Your father’s books made the ironmen of the cockpit that much more human to the rest of us.

    Yours, FG

  10. Once again, thank you all for your kind words. I have had the privilege of writing to some of you and you have helped enormously. Thank you to all who could be at my dad’s funeral/celebration today and thank you also to all those who raised a glass. I am fortunate to be able to take comfort from such amazing comments and emails and can only thank you one and all again. He may be gone but his words and memory live on. I still miss him terribly but was so proud and privileged to have been as close as anybody to someone I happily call my super hero. Missing from this world but still ever present in my life.


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